In a season of change for the Anacortes girls’ basketball team, Gabby Ronngren was a constant.
The Seahawks had a first-year coach, a roster of young players and no home court while their gym was being renovated.
Despite it all, Ronngren was a steady performer, as well as Skagit County’s top girls’ basketball scorer.
For her consistently high level of play, Ronngren has been selected the Skagit Valley Herald Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year.
Ronngren scored 21.3 points per game season. Her 555 points gave her 1,283 for her high-school career, placing her eighth all time on the career scoring list for Skagit County. She’s the second-highest scorer among Anacortes players behind Brittany Janz, who scored 1,605 points.
Her tally included a season-high 40 points in the Seahawks’ opener against Stanwood; a 32-point effort against Mount Baker; and a string of five straight 20-point postseason games.
The Seahawks went 17-9 and qualified for the Class 2A State Tournament.
First-year coach Nate Dunham said Ronngren was crucial to the Seahawks’ success.
“Obviously, Gabby’s really talented,” he said. “To have that while starting a new program is fantastic. Her willingness to be coached and willingness to be excited about what we were doing ... it helped pave the way for our program. It was an example every day of how to be a student-athlete, how to be a member of a program.”
Ronngren, who is also a standout soccer player, said she wasn’t sure at first how this season would go.
The team had a new face on the sidelines in Dunham, and was set to play its home games in various gyms, including at Anacortes Middle School.
“In the beginning, I was a little unsure with having a new coach and not having a home gym,” she said.
But she said the Seahawks’ fall league went well, and that momentum carried into early-season games when the Seahawks were competitive with a larger school in Stanwood, and played well in a win over a top-shelf smaller school in La Conner.
Ronngren, who was one of the team’s captains, knew she’d play an important role.
“My coach said I’d be an influence, a role model. I had to play aggressive and confident,” she said.
On that end, Dunham said, Ronngren helped place the cornerstone for future success.
“People saw how hard she worked in practice. People saw I was able to coach her and correct her when she made mistakes, and she was willing to accept it, she wanted to be coached,” he said. “She never had bad body language. She was laser-focused on being the best she could be that day ... That’s not an easy skill.”